Study Shows Libraries As Crucial Link For Jobs And State Services

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Based on new state research as part of a national report, South Carolina’s public libraries are utilized today as resources for workforce and economic development, and as the crucial link to essential electronic government (e-government) services.

The statewide data reports that the state’s public libraries provide resources and assistance to job seekers and are used for access to e-government services including unemployment, health care, and tax information.

The new public library statistics are preliminary findings from the American Library Association’s Public Library Funding & Technology Access Study, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The full report will be released in June, 2011.

For states such as South Carolina, today’s public libraries represent a new prototype of resources supporting digital literacy, including job search strategies, computer training, and research assistance for small businesses.

One such statewide initiative is WorkSC. is a comprehensive job seeker & workforce skill building resource for South Carolina’s libraries, government agencies, and citizens. Users of can learn how to create an online email account, learn how to use Microsoft Word to write a resume, find online job training tutorials and links to training opportunities hosted at your local libraries, find links to SC-specific and national job listing sites along with tips for job searching, find resources for starting a business, and learn tips for thriving in the workplace.

The site, initially created with libraries and first-time job seekers in mind, offers many useful links for the beginning as well as seasoned job seeker.

“Our public libraries continue to serve an essential role in communities. Technology investment has transformed libraries into digital hubs for the community, featuring free internet access, computer training, and increasingly, a leadership role in workforce and economic development,” said David Goble, Director of the South Carolina State Library.

While the state is grappling with budget issues, today’s public library as well as the State Library have faced the fiscal issues, and stand ready to offer the necessary services for changing communities.

“The budget crisis, the economic downturn, and unemployment issues are part of our daily lives. Yet this research confirms what we see daily: library usage is increasing, and patrons depend on the dynamic resources at libraries to simplify access to e-government, battle unemployment, and support community growth,” said Goble.

Preliminary 2010-2011 survey results can be accessed at The 2009-2010 report is available at

Print Friendly, PDF & Email